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Scandal season 5 trailer debuted online last week, I realized that just like Marshawn Lynch, I show up on "TGIT" Thursdays just so I won't get fined I can remember the very first time I watched a Scandal episode. Back in season one, a high school friend and mutual Shonda Rhimes fan told me to check it out. I was immediately hooked; I binge-watched the first five episodes of the series and was then able to catch the last three episodes live on Thursday after Grey's Anatomy. That was a stroke of tactical support because, as all true gladiators know, ABC did not initially renew Scandal for a season two. My fellow Gladiators and I rallied, forcing ABC to take attention and renew the budding drama. The network couldn't ignore the fervent watching and tweeting, which helped spread the word, and even Kerry Washington tweeted her gratitude to Gladiators everywhere when Scandal's second season was officially renewed.
We all know what happened next. Thursday nights became my favorite time of the week as Scandal became one of the most-watched and most-tweeted-about scripted television shows on air. Kerry Washington rose to fame as the new black girl to idolize, stealing hearts and magazine covers across the country. Endless debates and think pieces spawned from the depiction of Olivia and Fitz's interracial relationship and the morality of romantic affairs. I couldn’t wait to see where Scandal's characters and plot would take us next, and the memes and snarky tweets of its live-tweeting audience only added to the entertainment.
Then something terrible happened. As a Grey’s Anatomy fan, I both feared and expected this moment. Popular opinion says that GA peaked around season three, and I’d argue that the same thing has tragically occurred with Scandal. Both shows had a rocket-like ascension in popularity followed by the almost immediate and scandalous departure of main cast members. In the face of all this drama, I realized that somewhere along the way, I’d continued to watch Scandal out of some odd sense of duty and not because I enjoyed it anymore. Where exactly did Scandal go wrong? I’ve got a few ideas…Exhibit A is ironically the backbone of the show. When Scandal first started, Olivia and Fitz’s relationship was the highlight of the plot and for good reason. It was steamy, forbidden and romantic, forcing us to consider the grey area of cheating as we found ourselves ‘shipping the illicit affair. However, Olitz began to face obstacles that no couple could realistically overcome no matter how much the audience suspended its realities. And, more than anything else, the audience realized how maddening Olivia and Fitz are as a couple. This whole “break-up-to-make-up” routine is predictable and rote. At this point, I don’t want to see them together ever again. Olivia should move on with someone who is: (a) not Jake (he literally stalked Olivia
and killed James, my last favorite character)
and (b) normal, like her season two boyfriend Edison who reminded us of Bill Cosby back when that could still be considered a compliment.As for Fitz, he should really get over himself and make it work with Mellie. Despite what he thinks, he’s not that much better than her, and presidents don’t leave their wives for their emotionally unstable, red-wine guzzling mistresses.
Next up: B613. It was such an interesting storyline when it first started. It added a whole new element of intrigue and was a great mystery for audiences and main characters alike to dive deeper into. However, the B613 storyline consumed the show, moving it from its original premise of Olivia Pope & Associates handling things and turning it into some soapy, watered-down-for-primetime version of the Bourne movie series. B613 is the epitome of beating a dead horse. As a storyline, it should have wrapped up long ago. But just like a B613 agent that questions Command, Scandal’s audience has had to suffer.
Finally we come to Exhibit C — Quinn. This is pretty self-explanatory. How did she make it this far? There isn’t a single redeeming quality about this character. I’ve wanted it to be lights out for Quinn for a minute now, but other than just being annoying, I can’t think of one good thing she’s done to advance a plotline. And watching her and Huck hook up was a vicious and unwarranted assault on my eyes. Go away, Quinn!Shonda and Scandal writers, if you’re reading this, it’s not too late to reset the show. The cast is immensely talented and the writers have built one of the most intriguing worlds on primetime. Why not spend less time focusing on why Olivia is so broken and instead actively trying to fix her issues in a way that doesn't involve Fitz? In the meantime, you can find me watching old episodes on Netflix and reminiscing on the good old days of Harrison’s recycled outfits. May he and his purple gingham suit forever rest in peace.
Sade Onadiji is a freelance writer from Houston, TX interested in pop culture, traveling, and food. More importantly, she’s a proud member of the Beyhive and a devoted Netflix user. Reach out to her on Twitter @SoySadeO.
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